What Happens When You Connect NFTs to Luxury Goods?

In this interview at Web Summit 2022, I spoke with Pierre-Nicolas Hurstel, CEO of Arienne. Arienne creates NFTs for luxury goods that allow owners to verify their products and even lets them transfer ownership anonymously, enabling brands to keep communicating with verified owners long after the initial purchase. The system, a long time in development, is actually working for and has onboarded a number of luxury partners.

You can watch the full interview above or read our automatic transcription below.

Automatic Transcript

John Biggs:

I’m john Biggs, we’re here at Web Summit right now. We’re talking with the ceo of Arienne. Is that how you pronounce it exactly? So tell us what’s going on in the company. I’ve heard of it. I’ve heard about a long time ago. Why don’t you describe what you guys do? And then we’ll, and then we’ll talk about what’s happening now.

Pierre Nicolas Hurstel:

Well, the first thing is we’re showing our vision. Arienne is a reference to the link, you know, in the Greek mythology, basically, we believe that tokens are going to be the link between brands and communities and they’re gonna help people escape the maze of the centralized internet, bring them back their data in their hands and reconnect them directly with the brands. They love organizations they support, basically offered them the possibility to have a seamless journey on the internet where they have control. We started by building an open source layer, the protocol with the UTTT token, an association to manage that, in which we welcome brands, Montclere, Brantling, Richemont Group and many others are members of this association and they help us build this common good . And then on top of that we have built a startup and software as a service solution to allow these brands to use the protocol easily without having to deal with the complexities of the Blockchain.

John Biggs:

So the goal is to put almost everything on the, on the Blockchain. Right? So if I buy this watch, I’m gonna have a virtual NFT. Version of the, watch, How does that work specifically?

Pierre Nicolas Hurstel:

Yeah, that’s our main use case. We see the organization opportunity for brands with three use cases number one is what we call the digital product, passport. You buy good, you get an NFT That comes with it. This NFT comes with all the information about your good. But also it is the link to universal of services that are going to enrich your ownership experience. This is the NFT Of my watch. You can see here the serial number, the movement you can see in the history when I received it and the repair that I perform this uh this this summer. But the coolest thing is here I can generate in a couple of seconds. A QR code. The unique QR code that is going to be the proof of my ownership. Anyone can scan it with any phone and see that the proof is valid. This is basically my proof of ownership of this asset. I can connect my wallet to prove that I’m the owner. I can show this cure code at any moment to enter an event and and that’s the coolest part of the brand has the possibility to message me within the wallet without knowing anything about me without collecting any personal data. They just message my wallet address in which this token is told all that recorded within the token in your wallet. Gonna work very well with the high end fashion handbags, jewelry and then every single luxury in the wine and spirits, also appliances and cars, brands can also tokenize membership and participation and experience. They can issue a token that shows that allows the user to show to the world that it belongs to this tribe, that it belongs to this brand and be recognized somewhere else. Because of that. We raised our series in March with Tiger Global. Um we now have 50 clients. We work with Loreal with Richmond, with Montclair with many many brands.

John Biggs:

Is there ever gonna be a chance for like H&M to going to use you guys? Do you think that works or is it something different?

Pierre Nicolas Hurstel:

Yeah, I don’t know. I don’t think for such a low price point, I’m not sure what organization will be needed for objects that are.

John Biggs’ work has appeared in the New York Times, Gizmodo, Men’s Health, Popular Science, Sync, The Stir and he’s written multiple books including Black Hat and Bloggers Boot Camp. He is unofficial editor-at-large for Grit Daily.